House shoes, while always appreciated for walking around the crib, have been of particular interest to us during the pandemic. Spending so much time at home has meant less time wearing “real” shoes, and suddenly the average pair of slides or slippers hasn’t cut it anymore.
By chance, the pandemic has just so happened to coincide with a renaissance of sorts for men’s sandals, mules, and the ilk. There are more options than ever for less structured, casual footwear — and while we endorse wearing them out into the world, designating a pair for at-home use only is a true delight.
Earlier this year, Deckers x Lab came to our attention with its claims of “the most comfortable and technologically advanced slipper out” through its KO-Z series. Such product boasting in our inboxes isn’t uncommon coming from PR shills, but the KO-Z’s specs were impressive enough that we had to consider them. And upon wearing the KO-Z Slide for several weeks, I can confirm this is the most comfortable house shoe I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing.
The KO-Z Slide is intended for both post-workout recoveries and for simply hanging out at home. Its anatomical footbed is made of five layers of memory foam, the softest of which is reserved for directly under your foot with a lining made of buttery soft and perforated leather. At midfoot is a rocker, which is normally used in high-quality running shoes, which helps provide support along with a small wool arch for grip. And thanks to sheepskin lining, the top of your foot will be just as comfortable as the bottom without getting too hot.
All these robust components come together to blow away nearly every other house shoe I’ve ever worn. The KO-Z Slide feels just as supportive as the Hoka One One sneakers I love to run and walk in, and they’re never liable to slip off. I notice just a slight squish from the top layer of memory foam with each step, providing just the right amount of give with a stable base underneath it. The sheepskin hugging the top of my feet from the straps is an absolute delight — and as the temperatures have risen to tempt me to re-install my AC unit, I haven’t found it too warm or sweaty.
The sole portion, however, is an absolute unit that takes some getting used to. At its thickest, the five layers add an additional inch and a half of height. At first, I felt like I was wearing platform shoes, a foreign experience for someone whose footwear choices have never challenged any gender norms. After a full day of wearing them while working from home, though, the KO-Z Slide became just as normal as anything else I might wear inside.
One more concern to address is the price. The KO-Z Slide sells for $130 a pair, which is not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things but is still steep for a house shoe. I was careful to say the slides blow away nearly every other house shoe earlier because they’re only a slight step above Crocs’ slides, which retail for just $30 a pop. Owning both, I prefer Decker x Lab’s offering — but I’m not sure I could recommend spending $100 more for the upgrade unless money is truly not an issue.
What’s refreshing is to see a claim of footwear superiority turn out to be true, and Deckers x Lab should continue running with the assertion of the most comfortable footwear to wear in-home. We should be getting a lot less use out of house shoes with something like a normal summer ahead of us, but are we really willing to stop living as comfortably at home going forward? We certainly shouldn’t be, and the KO-Z slide is a clear, albeit expensive, path to homewear bliss.